White House Calls Ruling Striking Down Health Care Law ‘An Outlier’

Jan 31, 2011 6:20pm

ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports:  Senior White House officials called today’s ruling striking down the health care law “an outlier” and are confident that it will be overturned on appeal.

A federal judge in Florida  struck down the Obama administration’s health care law ruling that because a central provision of the law is unconstitutional the rest of the law cannot stand without it. Judge Roger Vinson of the Northern District of Florida ruled that the individual mandate — which requires individuals to purchase health care by 2014 or pay a penalty — "exceeds Congress' commerce power."

The ruling marks the first time a federal judge has struck down the entire law. "I must conclude that the individual mandate and the remaining provisions are all inextricably bound together in purpose and must stand or fall as a single unit," the judge ruled.

Noting that the judge did not order the government to stop implementing the law, a senior administration source said "implementation will proceed at pace."

Stephanie Cutter, Deputy Senior Advisor to the president, issued a blog statement pushing back at the judge’s ruling that Congress cannot force individuals to buy health insurance. She said the Constitution authorizes Congress to regulate commerce. 

"Individuals who choose to go without health insurance are actively making an economic decision that impacts all of us," she wrote. "As Congress found, every year millions of people without insurance obtain health care they cannot pay for, shifting tens of billions of dollars in added cost onto those who have insurance and onto taxpayers."

More on the ruling from ABC News' Ariane de Vogue HERE. 

-Sunlen Miller 

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